Just A Couple Of Food Obsessed Travelers (Lahaina, Maui)
18 Sept, 2012 - Haven’t you noticed how memories seem to orbit around the senses, particularly around taste and smell?
Adobo, a Filipino dish showing Spanish influences in its combination of garlic, black pepper and vinegar, always brings with it a plethora of childhood memories from Manila (Philippines) for me. And heaven help the person who tries to stop our family from having roast turkey with all its trimmings during our Australian Christmas, despite it being the height of Summer, because that’s what we ate at my abuela’s home during the festivities. Ahh, yes, while specific experiences might recede to the recesses of our memory banks as time passes, they re-surface from the subconscious in all their sensual glory the moment our taste buds and sense of smell get re-activated.
Peter and I fell in love with Maui’s cuisine from day one, associating it with warm waters, sandy beaches, eating out on restaurant terraces as we watched the sun set due west, with balmy breezes caressing our sunkissed skin. And like Pavlov’s dogs, we salivate whenever we think of the island, wherever in the world we may be.
What is it exactly about the food in Maui that we’re so crazy about, and specific restaurants in particular - Lahaina Grill, Mala, Pacific’O, Star Noodle? It isn’t just the fresh seasonal produce - we can always get fresh seasonal produce back home. Is it the seafood? There’s plenty of good seafood in Oz too.
The unique characteristics of cuisine in Maui, and Hawaii in general, inventively blends the diversity of Hawaii’s ethnic flavors with the cuisine of the world. Taking advantage of the freshest island ingredients - cattle raised on Maui’s upland pastures, fruits and vegetables grown from volcanic soil, fish from one of the best managed fisheries around, and fresh produce from the fertile fields of Kula in Upcountry Maui - the group of talented chefs in Hawaii pair them in exciting and innovative ways in a culinary style that is totally unique.
Add to that the laid back atmosphere of the island which permeates even the finest dining establishments and the welcoming demeanor and “Spirit of Aloha” that transcends all manner of service on the island. Nowhere in the world but the Lahaina Grill has a record been kept on file of our dining experience so that on our return, we are welcomed back as old friends. Not only that, we get to sit in our favorite spot and catch up with our favorite waiter, Michael, each and every time that we return. You'll only need to experience this once, and like us, you’ll just want to keep coming back for more.
* (Above) Photo of Victoria, Jurg Munch, Proprietor of Lahaina Grill, and Peter.